Life finds a way in these 12 things to know about Jurassic World: Dominion

Jeff Goldblum laid it all out for us back in 1993: “God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.” Laura Dern chimed in to add, “Dinosaurs eat man…woman inherits the earth.”

Sounds simple enough, right? But nooo, a further two films and a new sequel trilogy had to keep tempting God and science, concluding now with the epic Jurassic World: Dominion. Here’s absolutely everything you need to know about the sixth film in the Jurassic Park franchise, from what dinosaurs we can expect to a neat bit of viral marketing to enjoy.

It’s set four years after the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The last film in the new trilogy came out in 2018, so the timeline of this final blockbuster actually makes a lot of sense. If you missed it, that film ended with dino-wrangler Owen (Chris Pratt) and corporate gal Claire (Bryce Dallas-Howard) reluctantly setting a huge batch of dinos free into the California wilderness, Isla Nublar long since abandoned and humanity seemingly dead set on getting chomped.

Short film ‘Battle at Big Rock’ helps fill in the gaps of what’s happened since then

If you have 10 spare minutes, please enjoy the video below, an intermediary short movie (starring Andre Holland!) set one year after Fallen Kingdom. It shows a family being trapped in their RV by battling dinosaurs. The fam is obviously terrified, but they also seem somewhat acclimatised to the bizarre new threat to the human race: much like our acceptance of COVID, they’re forced to move on and survive at any cost.

Our favourite bit is probably the fun post-credits scenes, showing just how much…dominion dinosaurs now have over the planet. An aqua-dino snaps up an orca as it’s snapping up a seal, and a pterodactyl hilariously chomps a dove released at one poor couple’s wedding.

You can use Dino Tracker to see if your hometown has been stomped

As a neat bit of viral marketing, the Universal team have mocked up an official-looking website that has “real photos and videos” of dino encounters around the world: you can spin the globe and find your city/state, and then watch high quality footage of how the once-extinct beasties are taking over.

Triceratops blocking a country road in Ireland! A sick Stygimoloch finding refuge on a Queensland farm! Dino Tracker is a good bit of fun, with the “Department of Prehistoric Wildlife” FAQs stating that “dinosaurs are here to stay and their impact on our world is still being studied. Our objective here at the DPW is to help humans and dinosaurs co-exist through real-time monitoring and education.”

This is the first time the OG Jurassic Park trio will reunite onscreen

Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm was the star of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Sam Neill’s Alan Grant returned for Jurassic Park III. But Laura Dern has never reprised her role as Dr. Ellie Sattler, and the three have never enjoyed a proper reunion in a Jurassic Park movie. Yet.

Director Colin Trevorrow promised that the beloved trio would get a decent amount of screentime, saying “I think people may be underestimating the size and importance of Laura Dern and Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum’s characters in this movie; it is very much an ensemble.” Don’t forget B.D. Wong’s chief genetic engineer Dr Henry Wu: in the new trailer above he admits “we made a terrible mistake”.

…but there’s also plenty of new characters to squeeze in at the last minute

The original gang will have their own parallel story alongside Owen and Claire’s sequel trilogy heroes. Other returning mates include Justice Smith and Daniella Pineda as dino-rights activists, Omar Sy as Owen’s fellow trainer, and Isabella Sermon as clone-kid Maisie Lockwood, introduced in Fallen Kingdom.

Newbies popping in to say hi for the final instalment will include a badass Air Force pilot played by DeWanda Wise, seen sprinting away from a dinosaur below thin ice in the new trailer, and Mamadou Athie and Campbell Scott as workers from the rival genetics company Biosyn. Scott’s character actually isn’t new, though: he’s playing Dodgson, the shadowy dude who schemed with Dennis Nedry to steal dino embryos back in the first movie.

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard’s characters have now formed a little surrogate family

Owen and Claire seem to have gone bush, leaving behind memories of the destroyed theme park to raise the abandoned Maisie as an adopted daughter. All’s not so well in their remote forest hideaway, though, with Owen forced to rescue the baby of one of his beloved raptors from poachers.

“You made a promise…to a dinosaur?”, Goldblum asks incredulously in the trailer above. The baby looks extremely cute and snuggly strapped to Pratt’s back.

A proper dino expert has been brought in for authenticity

In the tweet below, director Trevorrow celebrates the input of University of Edinburgh paleontologist and evolutionary biologist Stephen L. Brusatte. Brusatte’s work was the basis for the film Walking With Dinosaurs, and his most recent book Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World helps break down the long-dead critters for the layman reader.

There won’t be any more hybrid dinos—but there will be more glorious practical effects

With Grant calling it the largest carnivore in the history of evolution, the gigantosaurus is ready for its close-up in Jurassic World: Dominion. In fact we’re probably getting more dinosaurs than ever before. Just not any more hybrid ones, like the fearsome Indominus Rex: whilst the beasts can seemingly breed in the wild now, any hybrids are out of the question.

Old-school fans will be extremely pleased to hear that some of the new film’s many monsters will be achieved entirely with practical effects. Director Trevorrow claims that his films have increasingly used more and more animatronics instead of CG.

“Digital extensions on animatronics will be able to match the texture and the level of fidelity that, on film, an animatronic is going to be able to bring.” Trevorrow has said. “And you didn’t use to be able to really mix them. You could really see the seams. And so that part of it is very exciting for me.”

It’s the longest Jurassic Park movie yet, at 2 hours and 23 minutes

Grab a dino-sized bucket of popcorn. Dominion will run longer than any other film in the series, where the new trilogy entries each reach just over two hours and Jurassic Park III only went for 92 minutes. That makes sense with a super-sized cast, new characters jumping in every few minutes, and five other movies to wrap up plot-wise.

Music man about town Michael Giacchino provides the thudding score

Giacchino has been kicking goals the last few years, perhaps most obviously in his moody, minimalistic score for The Batman. His compositions for Jurassic World: Dominion should draw heavily on John William’s wistful, descending work in the original film, whilst bringing in bold new aural motifs to herald in a fresh age of dino chaos.

Is it the end of the Jurassic era? The studio says nope

Producer Frank Marshall has alluded to future stories set in this “new normal” world where humans have to share the globe alongside dinosaurs. “It’s the start of a new era,” he said, after an effusive “no” when asked if Jurassic World 3 was being envisioned as an endpoint: “The dinosaurs are now on the mainland amongst us, and they will be for quite some time, I hope.”

All we know is that Jurassic World: Dominion is the end for now, concluding the new trilogy and nicely wrapping up Neill, Dern, and Goldblum’s narrative trajectories at once.

Some final dino-advice: Dr. Ian Malcolm says don’t ride the Gallimimus

You’ve checked Dino Tracker, you’ve got your tickets to see Jurassic World: Dominion in a big comfy cinema. And yet you still might be tempted to enjoy some rodeo clown nonsense if you ever happen to encounter one of the more ride-able, fun-sized dinosaurs out in public. In character, Jeff Goldblum is here to say please refrain.

“They may look peaceful, but they can break into a stampede *click* very quickly. Don’t—don’t—try to ride them”, he warns in that halting Goldblum way, “that’d be a fool’s errand.”

Jurassic World: Dominion

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